Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kiser Lake

Note: This was written the middle of October.

On the Activity Calendar for yesterday, was this notation:

“2:00 Fall Bus Ride to Look At Leaves.”

Been on the calendar for nearly a month - looking forward to the usual “fall outing” for residents of places like The Grand Court.

How does one calculate WHEN the “leaves” are at their “richest” in color - ahead of time?

Some past history in this particular place does help, it seems.

Depends on how far “north” or “south” one is, actually. As well as the amount of moisture in the tree trunks.

This is not some major weather calculation by me, but merely a “guess” as to when the leaves have “turned” just right.

It could be different from last year - again, depending on the moisture.

I’m not by any means an expert on this subject, but some years ago somebody set me straight on what causes the leaves to turn. I was told that, contrary to what I’ve always thought, cold weather is NOT the determining factor of the “changing color” of the leaves. It is, rather, the amount of moisture in the tree trunk/limbs there.

As the days get shorter, and the amount of growing weather abates, moisture and other nutrients to the trees declines, apparently. (Did you notice my “disclaimer” there? “Apparently”. Try to pin me down, will ya?)

Back to Kiser Lake.

When we started out, Karl, our sometimes bus driver didn’t tell us where we were going, but did ask for suggestions. Most said, “North”, thinking of “pretty trees”, no doubt.

No reply from Karl. He just kept driving until he arrived at Westville, west of Urbana on US 36. He turned left then, and I thought maybe he would be going as far as Saint Paris.

Arriving there, he kept going west, until SR 235. THEN I knew he was headed for Kiser Lake.

I don’t know what activities are still going on there. It’s been MANY years since I’ve been there, but it DID seem “empty”. Two months earlier would have provided some guests, I’ll bet.

We drove into the park, and Karl followed the winding road through there, with trees in various stages of “turning”.

We didn’t see many REAL pretty trees. Probably too early this year, apparently.

We went back in there farther than I have ever gone before, and I was surprised to see several private residences there.

Karl went as far as he could, then had to turn around and return to SR 235. Once, I thought we were going to be lost, but Karl “drove us out”.

Going south, then, past US 36, he took us to SR 41, then headed back toward Springfield.

One of our fellow residents had given me a twenty dollar bill to buy “one dollar sundaes” for all at McDonald’s. I passed it along to Karl, so he drove to the McDonald’s on Upper Valley Pike.

Timi had told him that the one nearest home was the best, but Karl was concerned about being gone too long, making the “early supper” riders too late to eat.

Karl and I went in to order 12 Sundaes, 4 each for chocolate, strawberry and caramel. The riders had given us their order before going in.

The clerk said there was no strawberry (a third of our crowd); the chocolate was fudge (another third); and no caramel (the final third.)

Karl and I felt rather compromised, so that, and the fact that we were so late, prompted us to go back to the bus, report on what we found, and asked if they’d just as leave we went on back home - “sundae-less”.

“Go home”, was the response.

Ice cream sundaes another time.

We did just barely make it back for the early eaters, so “all’s well that ends well”, as we used to say in Mechanicsburg.

Don’t give up on us, McDonald’s. We’ll be back!

You can count on it. (We still have Emil’s $20 to spend.)

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